Bush Poll Ratings Before Speech Fall to Nixon's Level
By Nadine Elsibai
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush's approval ratings are now the lowest for any president the day before a State of the Union speech since Richard Nixon in 1974, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as president while 33 percent approve. The rating matches Bush's career low in a May 2006 poll.
Seventy-one percent of Americans said the country is on the wrong track, up from 46 percent in an April 2003 poll, the month after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. A majority of those polled this month don't approve of how Bush is handling the Iraq war, terrorism or the economy.
Bush, who addresses the nation before a joint session of Congress tomorrow, will face many members of his own party who blame him for Republicans' losing majority control of the House and Senate in the November 2006 midterm elections.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Bush's State of the Union speech will focus on issues including the Iraq war, energy independence, health-care, immigration and education.
Bush also received career-low approval ratings in a new CNN poll. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of how Bush has handled his presidency and 34 percent said they approve. Sixty percent disapproved and 38 percent approved of Bush's performance in a March 2006 CNN poll.
CBS, NBC Polls
Bush reached an all-time low 28 percent approval rating in a CBS poll released today. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed in the CBS poll said they opposed Bush's sending 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, and 75 percent said the war there is going badly. Fifty percent said Congress shouldn't provide money for the 20,000 additional troops.
The CBS poll surveyed 1,168 adults nationwide by telephone from Jan. 18 to 21. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Almost two-thirds of people in the U.S. don't support a troop increase in Iraq if Congress passes a resolution opposing it, and don't believe the war can succeed, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Investigators questioned 1,007 adults from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani led among Republicans and New York Senator Hillary Clinton paced Democrats in a CNN poll on potential 2008 presidential candidates.
Giuliani received support from 32 percent of Republicans surveyed; Arizona Senator John McCain followed with 26 percent; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was third at 9 percent.
Giuliani and McCain have both formed presidential exploratory committees. Gingrich has yet to say whether he will seek the party's nomination for president.
Support for Clinton dropped to 34 percent from 37 percent a month earlier, the poll found. Illinois Senator Barack Obama followed with 18 percent, up 3 percentage points from a December 2006 poll. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards was third at 15 percent.
Clinton, Obama and Edwards have each filed papers allowing them to raise and spend money through a presidential exploratory committee.
Of the 1,008 adults in the CNN poll, 365 were asked about the Republican nomination and 467 were asked about the Democratic candidates. The margin of error for Republicans was plus or minus 5 percentage points, and plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for Democrats.
The Washington Post-ABC News telephone poll of 1,000 adults nationwide was conducted Jan. 16-19. Opinion Research Corporation conducted the CNN telephone poll of 1,008 Americans Jan. 19-21. Both surveys had a 3 percentage point margin of error overall.
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